February 1, 2019

  • I've Moved!

    I have purchased (leased, really) my own webpage which I am going to attempt to transfer the content of this blog to. You can (hopefully!) find me at katiejwalker.com

August 23, 2012

  • Mystery at the end

    The neighbor girls gave our kids a small bag of the Valentine hearts candies with little messages on them.  Grant kept asking me to read them to him.  On one it said, "Marry me?" and Grant looked at it and said, "Why is there a mystery at the end?"  I love how a question mark means "mystery" to him.  It literally does, of course.  We ask questions about mysteries, things we don't know they answer to.  But I thought it so interesting that he would look at that and think that way.  I suppose he made the connection from a book or tv show where a question mark was shown in the context of as mystery.  But I can't think of what book/show it was, yet.  I guess it's a mystery!

    Also, Madeleine has gotten Grant to play “beauty salon” with her the last few days.  She’s got two small chairs sitting one in front of the other, and one will sit in the front and have their hair done by the other one sitting behind.  Madeleine is out there whining now, though, because Grant doesn’t want to play with her right now.  Lots of whining around here at times!

August 17, 2012

  • Swimming Lessons

    I took the kids to four weeks of swimming lessons this summer. Grant is 3, so he had to go in the parent-child tiny tots class, and I was with him all the time. That was a good thing, because he got constant attention, either from me or the teacher or one of the assistants. And he really turned into a little fishy. He was going under water and doggy paddling and he even let me drop him off of the diving board (to a teacher who caught him). Madeleine was in the Level 1 class, and she was really really scared about it. She cried and cried before going, because we said she should put her head in the water. In her class, when they did bobs (going underwater), she would dip her face in and out super-quick, and even that was scary. For three weeks she was in that class, and she just didn't get that much attention, because there were 3 teachers to 10 kids, and they didn't have the manpower to sit with her one-on-one. But for the second session (weeks 3 and 4 of our total lessons), Haley and Tegan came with us. Tegan had a class, but Haley didn't. So I asked if she wanted to come and help with Grant, and then I'd bring Madeleine into Grant's class. The last week we did that. I asked Grant's teacher and Madeleine's teacher, and it was all okay. And so Madeleine spent five days in Grant's class. She was not a happy girl. There was fighting and screaming if I tried to get her to the slightly deeper water (maybe 3.5 feet) or if I tried to get her under water. Grant's teacher Jessica came and worked with her, and there was fussing there, too, though not quite as much as there was for me.  Monday and Tuesday were pretty difficult.  Madeleine wanted to do fewer bobs, and I said she should do more, and it was a big struggle.  Wednesday Jessica had Madeleine jump into the pool at a depth of 3 feet, and Madeleine cried and cried.  She held her hands at first, but then wanted her to do it without holding on.  There were three lifeguards right there, and me, and we promised her head wouldn’t even go in the water, and there was soooo much crying and fussing.  And finally, when I promised her slushies and pestered her more, she finally did jump in.  Oh the drama!  The trauma!  But we did go get Slurpies at 7-11.  (That week Madeleine learned about both slurpies and ice cream cones – I’d never really gotten her either of them before.)  After Wednesday’s lesson, when we got home, Madeleine made a wish on a dandelion that Grant’s teacher wouldn’t be so mean to her anymore!  I said she was actually being really nice, taking her into the class and giving her lots of attention and help. 

    Now sometime around Wednesday or Thursday, Madeleine started to actually go under water on her own, to do bobs.  Essentially what happened was that she got tired of me pushing her under the water, and started doing it on her own so that I wouldn’t do it for her.  And fairly suddenly she was going under water fairly well.  I would say, “Hey, let’s go jump off the diving board,” and she would immediately dunk herself in the water, as if to say, “No way, I’m doing bobs, see?  I’m doing this, that’s good enough!”  On Thursday or Friday she started jumping into the pool at 2 feet depth, by herself, and then started sliding over closer to the 3 feet part.  She was much improved! 

    Then we went swimming at Memorial (our swimming lessons pool) twice this week.  On Tuesday we went with Merrie Jo, Jimmy, Jameson, Brogan, my mom, and Aunt Marcy.  Marcy let Madeleine use some of her goggles, and what a difference that made!  Suddenly Madeleine was staying underwater for a long time, five seconds or more, and swimming around under the water.  It was so exciting!  She’d jump in the three feet water and purposely drop under the water as she did it.  She is so improved.  We went again today (Friday), just with Brian and Aunt Marcy, and today she would jump off the side, go under water, and then swim like a fishy for a bit away from the wall.  It’s a crazy good turn around.  Now, she’s not completely done with being afraid.  The big pool starts at five feet of depth, and we took the kids over there, and Madeleine would not go in.  She was so scared, and would only look out from the side.  I dropped her in to Aunt Marcy, and oh she was mad and unhappy.  But otherwise she is doing so much better.

    Grant did some amazing back floats today.  I think he held one for over 20 seconds.  He was just floating and floating on the water, nice and straight and not touching anything or anyone.  It was fantastic. 

    For the record, I also went off of the diving board a few times.  I did a front somersault, a backward dive, and an inward dive.  I chickened out on a back somersault.  Maybe next time.  Then I got too much water in my ears, so I stopped.  Then I went down the orange slide, which is a long dark tunnel.  It was fun, but then when it spit me out I got a TON of water up my nose and ears, and I’m still trying to blow it all out of me.  Ugh.


June 26, 2012

  • Grant talks in his sleep, and has been having lots of bad dreams.  Last night he woke up crying a lot, saying things like, "I can't get it up there!", "I need help!", "Where are you Mommy?", etc.  The other day he said, "Sorry Madeleine" and a few other things like, "I'm not done using it!" and "That's mine!"  It's pretty easy to see what the things are that stress him out. 

    He's been talking so much lately, too.  He loves to copy everything I say, pretty much as I'm saying it.  He copies Madeleine all the time too.  But he says his own stuff, too, like yesterday when Madeleine ran her bike into the curb and hurt her leg a little.  Grant came over and loudly exclaimed, "you're making me nervous!"  Last week, Haley and Tegan's uncle was visiting, and we saw him from our window, and Grant asked, "Is he friendly?"  I said we could go over and see, and he was suddenly really scared and wanted me to go and do it by myself.  He does get a bit more scared about things.  And when he goes to sleep he wants the bathroom door and the closet door in the bedroom closed.  I remember that I had to have all my doors closed, too.  I remember being scared of what could be in the closet.  I think Grant might be the same way.  He's certainly adamant that those doors be closed.

June 24, 2012

  • 6-24-12

    I’ve been playing too much Zombies this week.  I wanted to figure out a low-maintenance strategy for Survival Endless, and it was a fun puzzle, and I never really figured it out.  It always seemed like I almost had it, but then I didn’t.  The problem also is that it takes a long time to play that game, to get through all the flags.  It wasn’t easy to quickly change things and try again. 

    But now I feel bad, because I have a lot of other things I should be doing instead.  Like blogging.  For example.  Organizing and throwing out a lot of stuff.  Writing my article.  Writing other things… I have lots of requests for written things.  Write about my kids – they’re growing up!

    We ordered bunk beds yesterday.  I guess those kids really are growing up. 

    And see, now I was going to write about them, but it just seems like it would take so long.  Hmmm.  That never used to be my problem.  Well, let’s see.  We took Madeleine to the doctor for a checkup and asked about how she has to go to the bathroom so much.  So we went to the lab for a blood test and urine test.  She was so scared about the blood test, and when it happened I did have to hold her still, but she did a pretty good job, too.  And then I took her to Starbucks (we walked across the street) and she got apple juice and pumpkin bread, and we had a nice time.  She was very lovey dovey and thankful and sweet (after the fact) – beforehand I had to carry her screaming to the car. 

    Madeleine wants me to build a ball chute now – so I’ll try to come and write more later. 


April 20, 2012

  • My mom tells me that Madeleine counted backwards from 60 to 0, and that I should mention it it my blog, so here it is -- mentioned!  Check. 


    The kids say all sorts of cute and funny things, though I don't know if I can remember them all.  Grant was telling me "If you say so" today, when I told him to do things, though it came out a bit more like "you say so".  The kids stayed at my mom's house, and when I picked them up, Madeleine told me that they were "having a blast" playing with the toys there.  Little phrases like that always make me laugh. 

    There was a very big black beetle outside my mom's house today, on the wall, and Madeleine was really scared of it.  It was a bit intimidating.  Then tonight when we went home, my mom was showing something to Grant out there in the same place.  Madeleine took one look, thought it was the awful beetle, and went running into the house and was going to go out the back door, so she wouldn't have to go past the beetle.  But it turns out it was really a snail.  I don't know if I remember seeing snails here before, or not.  Maybe once?  Madeleine thought the snail was okay.  Grant was thrilled.  It was big (to my unpracticed eye), and I checked the shell to see if it really was hard.  I thought it a bit disturbing, still, and wasn't sure if it was much better than the beetle.  But Grant was so excited and when we got home he was telling Brian about it so quickly and wildly that it was impossible to decipher much of what he was saying.

    Grant has really started telling stories now.  He loves to go up to people and start telling them all about something that happened earlier.  It's all very fragmented, but I can usually interpret it for the people who weren't there and thus have no clue what he's talking about.  He's very friendly and chatty and really has been making a lot of verbal developments lately.  It's so fun to watch. 

    Grant is here telling me he is tired (which I kind of doubt, since we both took a long nap), but we're going to go upstairs and read books.  So.... good night! 

April 11, 2012

  • I notice now that the post two times ago is all funky, with a lot of the spaces missing.  Urgh.  I'd fix it, if I had the desire.  I don't really.


    I was going to tell one more story....  the kids were being really silly at my my mom's house, and Grant was copying all the silliness that Madeleine was doing (marching to the bathroom, pretending the door to the house was locked when it wasn't and the door would spring open and she would pretend it hadn't, etc.) and Grant followed her after she left, doing all the same silly things with the door, and followed her in.  My mom and I sat out on the porch laughing and laughing.  But the there was loud crying from inside.  I went to see what the terrible trouble was, and Grant came fussing very strongly, saying something.  I didn't understand at first, buy my mom did.  He was saying, "Madeleine made no sense!"  Does she ever?  ;-P

    While I'm typing, Daddy told the kids a story about mommy and daddy having a family.  Then Madeleine told a story about a family of flowers.  Then Grant wanted to tell a story too.  Here is pretty much what it was.  I wasn't going to write it down, but as soon as he started "Long ago" I was hooked.  How is that for book language?

    "Long ago there was a little boy talking to Mommy and then he knocked over the garbage while going pee pee on the potty.  The end!" 


    Now Daddy is telling a story about lightning and Yeti Zombies.  Good times.  The kids love to play zombies in the dark, trying to eat us (we're plants), and then they'll replant us, so they can eat us again.  (It's from the game Plants vs. Zombies.)

    Anyway, it is time to go to bed!  Grant was a terrible sleeper last night, crying and crying instead of sleeping.  Boo.

  • There's a ladybug on the deck, and Madeleine's idea for getting it to stay was to draw a picture of another ladybug, so that the first ladybug would have a friend and want to stay.  That's lots sweeter than my suggestion, which was to put it in a cage (and then let it go after awhile).  Now it seems to be gone, and Madeleine thinks Grant scared it away, and she's very sad.

    I keep thinking of other things to write down.  One of them is that a couple of weeks ago, Grant heard a siren, and asked what it was about and if someone needed help.  He wanted to know more, but we couldn't tell him exactly what the problem was, so then he asked, "Somebody touched their poop?"  Oh, man, I laughed and laughed.... I so wish I could call for an ambulance when Grant touches his poop.  It's been such a persistent problem; and such a gross one!

    Kids are fighting.... I guess it's time to go. 

April 9, 2012

  • Grant has been really fussy lately.  If he runsinto problems or wants something, he just suddenly starts crying loudly.  It’s getting really old.  He was pretty awful yesterday at my mom’shouse for Easter dinner.  I wonder if it’sbecause he’s changing a lot right now? He’s trying to do so many more things, and is frustrated when he can’t.  For about a week he tried to put his shoes onby himself, and he would cry and yell because he couldn’t do it, but also yelland say he didn’t need help.  It was alot of yelling.  And then one day he sortof figured it out.  He got his socks andshoes on by himself.  They were on, ifnot on perfectly.  Yesterday he got themon the wrong feet, and no one noticed till my aunt saw him at church.  He’s also trying to put on his pants byhimself, with mixed results.  He getsupset if I don’t understand what he’s saying. Usually I’m pretty good, but sometimes not.  I will kind of repeat what he said, and he’llusually say “yeah”.  But a few times Idon’t get it right, and I have to keep guessing as to what he was saying, andhe starts getting pretty upset.  He likesto tell me in a commanding (and slightly desperate tone), “Hear my voice!!!”  That really cracks me up.  That is NOT a phrase that I ever use.  I would say “listen to me” or “listen to whatI am saying”, not “Hear my voice!”  I tryto tell him that I was listening, and I do hear his voice, but I can’t quitetell what he’s saying.  Last night he wastalking about looking for something, but I couldn’t tell what.  I kept guessing things, and he kept gettingmadder and madder that I didn’t know what he was saying.  He said it was “yellow and nice”, so I kept guessingdandelions (because he loves to go out and pick dandelions with Madeleine, andthey pile them up in the basket of her tricycle).  And he would get soooo mad.  I started playing 20 questions… is it in ourhouse?  At Haley and Tegan’s house?  Outside? Inside?  And he kept trying tobreak down crying and not answer my questions anymore, but I somehow convincedhim (barely) that I was trying my best and just keep helping me.  And finally I guessed “thunderstorms”, andthat was it!  He wanted to look out thewindow for thunderstorms.  We had finallyhad our first two nights with lightning last week, and for some reason heremembered and decided to look for them again. Sadly, our next potential forecast for thunderstorms is in 10 days (onthe 10-day forecast), so that’s a no-go. 

    I had Granttake a nap yesterday, so that he wouldn’t be so cranky at Easter dinner, but asI mentioned, he was rather awful.  Butthen he stayed up really late, and I had to get up early with Madeleine.  So when the kids were at their grandparentsthis afternoon, I mostly just slept.  NowI’m writing.  They’ll be home soon, and I’vehardly done anything.  I guess thankgoodness for grandparents.  I just wish Ihad gotten my lego project advanced today. Oh well. 

    This morningMadeleine had her test for entrance into the dual-language program nextyear.  It’d be nice if she could get in,because it would give her something to learn. She pretty much already knows what kids learn in kindergarten, so it’dbe nice for her to use the time to learn Spanish.  I asked her how the test went.  It was about 15 minutes with the principal ofthe school.  Madeleine said she just hadto point to things, such as a ball.  That’sthe only one she says she remembered. She also said there was one thing she didn’t know, but that everythingelse was easy.  Who knows.  I guess we’ll wait and see.  And if she doesn’t get in, she can stilllearn Spanish someday. 

    Madeleinehas really been making the cutest little things lately.  She made a ladybug by cutting out all theparts, the body, the wings, the head, and taping them together and drawing cutedecorations on them, such as a face and spots. I ask her how she got so good at those kinds of things, and she said itwas because she was 5 now. 

    Hmm.   I can’t think of anything else right now,but I can think of lots of work I still need to go and do.  So… adieu!

April 7, 2012


    A comment I wrote somewhere else, but it's worthy of being in the blog. I need to catch up more!

    "I would have talked about how sappy my 3-yr old son is, too, except that it would have taken forever and I was typing on an ipod touch thingamajig, which is soooo slow. Anyhoo.... for example, this morning he came over and saw a little lego bit I was fiddling with. And what he says is, "It's soooo pretty! I love it! You're the best! I love you! It's soooo pretty!" This is also the kid that goes around saying, "Hugs!" and hugging his sister or us anywhere, any time. The other day the two of them were hugging in the gym daycare, and it was so super-cute, but really, enough already, let's go home.... ;-D  "